Govt May Name Arvind Panagariya As Next RBI Governor - Reports

A formal announcement is likely this week

12/07/2016 8:52 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:27 AM IST
Adnan Abidi / Reuters
Arvind Panagariya, head of the government's main economic advisory body, poses for a picture after an interview with Reuters in New Delhi, India, January 18, 2016.

The government will name the next Reserve Bank of India governor as early as this week, succeeding Raghuram Rajan whose term ends in September, according to media reports.

According to two television channels - CNBC Awaaz and ABP News - who cited government sources, policy adviser, Arvind Panagariya, is likely the next RBI governor. The TV channels reported Monday that a formal announcement of the decision was expected in 48 hours.

The 64-year- old Panagariya heads the government's main economic advisory body NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India). He is also India's key negotiator at G20 summit and has been Professor of Indian Political Economy at Columbia University.

Other leading contenders are former RBI deputy governors Subir Gokarn and Rakesh Mohan. Gokarn is, an Executive Director at the International Monetary Fund, a position also previously held by Mohan.

Pangariya, who is said to have been mentored by noted economist Jagdish Bhagwati, has been a vocal supporter of various economic policies of Narendra Modi, including as Prime Minister and before that as Chief Minister of Gujarat

He is a former Chief Economist of the Asian Development Bank and Professor of Economics at the University of Maryland at College Park. He has also worked with the World Bank, IMF and UNCTAD and is PhD in Economics from Princeton University. He is also former chief economist of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and professor of economics at the University of Maryland at College Park.

Others who have been in the fray included SBI chief Arundhati Bhattacharya, Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das, Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian and RBI's current Deputy Governor Urjit Patel.

Typically, it is the Prime Minister who appoints the RBI Governor after consultation with the finance minister. The same protocol is likely this time, according to media reports. It is widely expected that the new governor will become an Officer on Special Duty (OSD) in the central bank to allow for a transition period.

Last month, Rajan, who will have the shortest tenure as RBI Governor since liberilsation began in 1991, decided to not seek a second term amid political attacks against him.

- With Reuters and PTI inputs

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